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Occurrence of Repeat Induced Point Mutation in Long Segmental Duplications of Neurospora

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Abstract

Previous studies of repeat induced point mutation (RIP) have typically involved gene-size duplications resulting from insertion of transforming DNA at ectopic chromosomal positions. To ascertain whether genes in larger duplications are subject to RIP, progeny were examined from crosses heterozygous for long segmental duplications obtained using insertional or quasiterminal translocations. Of 17 distinct mutations from crossing 11 different duplications, 13 mapped within the segment that was duplicated in the parent, one was closely linked, and three were unlinked. Half of the mutations in duplicated segments were at previously unknown loci. The mutations were recessive and were expressed both in haploid and in duplication progeny from Duplication X Normal, suggesting that both copies of the wild-type gene had undergone RIP. Seven transition mutations characteristic of RIP were found in 395 base pairs (bp) examined in one ro-11 allele from these crosses and three were found in ~750 bp of another. A single chain-terminating C to T mutation was found in 800 bp of arg-6. RIP is thus responsible. These results are consistent with the idea that the impaired fertility that is characteristic of segmental duplications is due to inactivation by RIP of genes needed for progression through the sexual cycle.

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